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Lecture 6

Lecture 6: Kinship and Gender

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ANTH 1002
Eric Henry

Lecture 6: Kinship and Gender Gender is Cross-Cultural Context  Gender is partially attributed to biology, but not completely  Basis of gender doesn’t derive from biological facts (body parts)  System that gives social meaning to that fact  Relationship between biology and gender: gender has to do with social roles and behaviour associate with different biological sexes  Enormous variation from society to society about social norms and gender roles  Cultural stereotypes of gender: men speak clearly, women don’t  Mead: characteristics of gender not based on their natural characteristics, but a set of social ideas  Pressure in many societies to distinguish between female and male  Socialization: to become a gender  Sysgendered: conforms to normal gender behaviour in society; opposite of transgender  Gets us away from normalization or thinking that a certain behaviour is natural  Gender is an idea we have about men and women, that they’re very different from one another  To have this idea means to have an interpretation of spiritual world around us  Men and women are more like each other than to anything else in the world, but we’re thought of as opposites (personality traits, skills, bodies etc.)  Huge range of variation within each gender that is bigger than differences between genders  Interpretive process that makes it seem like there are differences between men and women  What makes it believable is that we’re socialized to act differently, dress differently and make the difference very visible  True that we look different, but also true that there’s much pressure on us to emphasize differences  Symbolism of attractiveness  Gender is organization of biological sects  Until relatively recently, we didn’t understand there being two genders; Thomas Lacker says there was one gender Gender and Sexuality  Modern understanding of straight and gay is modern Gender and Labour  As individual you can’t exist because you can’t do what
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